Daily Meditation: January 18, 2014

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Finding Solitude

All human beings are alone. No other person will completely feel like we do, think like we do, act like we do. Each of us is unique, and our aloneness is the other side of our uniqueness. The question is whether we let our aloneness become loneliness or whether we allow it to lead us into solitude. Loneliness is painful; solitude is peaceful. Loneliness makes us cling to others in desperation; solitude allows us to respect others in their uniqueness and create community.

Letting our aloneness grow into solitude and not into loneliness is a lifelong struggle. It requires conscious choices about whom to be with, what to study, how to pray, and when to ask for counsel. But wise choices will help us to find the solitude where our hearts can grow in love.

Henri J. M. Nouwen

Text excerpts taken from Bread for the Journey, by Henri J.M. Nouwen , © 1997 HarperSanFrancisco. All Scripture from The Jerusalem Bible ©1966, 1967, and 1968 Darton, Longman & Todd and Doubleday & Co. Inc. Photo by V. Dobson.

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2 Responses to Daily Meditation: January 18, 2014

  1. Lata Hall says:

    Yes, there are no carbon copies of any human beings. We are always alone with our thoughts. But loneliness is hard, to get rid of that we have to have faith and trust that God is with us all the time and we can talk to Him, and that is what is prayer, talking to God and knowing that our thoughts are known to Him, He understands, cares and above all loves us no matter what. At time, even more than we know what we are thinking, God knows our thoughts. In my youth I hated to be alone, now at age 73+, I do not feel that kind of loneliness, if I need company I make provisions for that. I live with my husband and at times we just go about doing what we want to do or need to do and not say a word. Yet, we know that the other is there. Henri Nouwen is our companion in the forms of many of his books. This meditation is so true and so much from the soul. I had to work at it that I will not feel lonely. I have to say, that I still have not mustard enough courage to go and live in the woods. I am happy to see people moving around, but hustle and bustle is not my thing any more. I love the stillness and company of Nature and birds around me. Thank you for this meditation. Always, reminds me to stay tuned.

  2. Kathy Ward says:

    When presented with this word, solitude, for reflection, the idea for a Haiku popped immediately into mind.

    Solitude
    Quiet, Peaceful, Still!
    Refuel, re-energize!
    Grace filled, Grateful!
    I need time alone-void of human contact. Listening time to tune into the who God wills me to be. It is in that time alone that I grow more and more aware of my Oneness with my Creator, Savior, Sanctifier. I know deep in my being that I am never truly alone and no matter what all will be well. Things can be crazy. People can be hurtful. Expectations quite often don’t get met. Letting go of my agenda~ shushing my mind and being present is hard work but the consolation possible is a true gift. Grace in the moment~ Grace of the moment~ awaits the willing.
    Sounds kind of nuts, I realize but it feels amazing. I just do my part which is simply to stop and be willing and grateful. My prayer for us all~ Dear Great God of Mystery grant us the peace this world cannot give.
    Solitude
    Grace filled Grateful
    Open,Willing, Receptive
    Ultimate Knowing

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